Amendments to the Fair Employment and Housing Act Effective January 1, 2013

January 2013
Number 2

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., signed Senate Bill (SB) 1038 into law on June 27, 2012. Effective January 1, 2013, SB 1038 amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to: (1) eliminate the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC); (2) create the Fair Employment and Housing Council (“Council”); (3) expand the powers of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to manage complaints, mediations, and prosecutions; and (4) require that certain actions be brought in court by civil action.

As a result of SB 1038, the FEHC website has been shut down and the duties of the FEHC have been transferred to the newly created Council, which will consist of seven members appointed by the Governor. SB 1038 also expands the powers of the DFEH to provide mandatory dispute resolution at no cost to the parties. Additionally, SB 1038 mandates that claims be brought in civil court and cannot be prosecuted through administrative adjudication under FEHA.

These FEHA amendments may require employers to revise employment brochures, handbooks, policies, and administrative regulations to eliminate or revise references to the FEHC and its website. Those materials may also need to reflect the FEHA amendments regarding the internal dispute resolution process and exhaustion of administrative remedies prior to filing suit in civil court. Employers should consult with their legal counsel on such changes when appropriate.

If you have any questions about this legislation or require assistance updating employee materials, please feel free to contact one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook, or download our Client News Brief App.

Written By

Darren C. Kameya
Senior Counsel
Los Angeles Office
dkameya@lozanosmith.com

Andrea Epps
Associate
Los Angeles Office
aepps@lozanosmith.com

©2013 Lozano Smith

As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.

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New Laws Effective January 1, 2013

January 2013
Number 1

As we welcome our school district clients back from the winter break, here is a reminder of significant new laws that took effect on January 1, 2013.

  • Student discipline has been modified both in terms of suspensions for first time offenses and also the grounds for mandatory recommendation for expulsions. (See Client Newsbrief No. 52, October 2012.)
  • The bid limit is now $83,400 for K-12 school district purchases of equipment, materials, supplies and services (except construction services). (See Client News Alert, December 2012.)
  • School districts may recover more direct costs from third parties using school facilities and grounds under the Civic Center Act. However, the regulations outlining what can be recovered as direct costs have not yet been adopted. (See Client Newsbrief No. 64, October 2012.)
  • Penal Code sections 11105 and 11105.2 have been modified to require employers to provide a copy of a criminal history record to an employee if that record is the basis for an adverse employment action. This includes those situations where the criminal history was used for determining whether initial or on-going employment was appropriate.

Also be aware that beginning January 1, 2014, a school district with ADA over 2,500 will be required to prequalify bidders for construction contracts with a value of $1,000,000 or more, if the project is funded in whole or part with State bond funds. (See Client Newsbrief No. 55, October 2012.)

If you have any questions on any of these new laws or on updating your board policies, please feel free to contact one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook, or download our Client News Brief App.

©2013 Lozano Smith

As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.